Study Methods Aspiring College Student   

College can be both a task as well as a learning experience. It can be a task as far as it can be a sink or swim exercise. The schedule is far different and more time consuming than the one you might have had in high school. The workload that you undertake in high school again is no match for what you will experience at a four-year university. Add to all of that the various social distractions that one will experience such as the freedom to make so many decisions independent of your parents. You can decide to stay out all night. You can decide not to dedicate yourself to your schoolwork. You can decide to get a part time job to help with the expenses you incur. College can be a learning experience as well because you will face the consequences from all of the above-mentioned decisions that you make whether they are positive or negative the outcome of those decisions will let you know if those practices are in your best interest going forward with the rest of your college experience. That being said, study habits are skill sets that you most likely have a good grasp on by the time you make it to a four-year institution but there may be some changes that you will need to make in order to adjust to your new environment. Once I got to college, I realized that many of my old study habits were in need of some fine-tuning from the old days of living with my parents. I undertook a complete study habit rebuild and discovered some subtle and not so subtle changes to my methods.

The workload is substantially different in college from in high school as far as difficulty level. When you were in high school, you could probably study with the TV on with no problem and never miss a beat. The material was that simply to take in. However, in college studying with the television on non-stop will be a no go. A new method that you should try is what I like to call the on/off method. Try studying for an hour and a half to two hours non-stop. Then once that block of time is over, relax with a little TV for 30 minutes to an hour before hitting the books again. My personal preference was always scheduling my study time around a particular NBA game I wanted to watch or I would play an hour of Call of Duty in between study blocks. This method might equal an all-night study session but you will retain more information this way because there is less pressure you are putting on yourself and you are rewarding yourself for each minute spent studying. Moreover, at the end of the day as a college student you are going to experience all-nighter. You might as well achieve a positive outcome out of it.

One another effective, however unattractive it may sound, is listening to classical music while you study. Silence can be deafening when you are trying to study and silence itself may be unobtainable when you are living in a dorm or an on campus apartment. Listening to classical music, can both drown out any unwanted sounds as well as provide soothing sounds that are audible enough to provide enjoyment and relaxation but subtle enough to allow you to concentrate on the material that you are studying. No matter your preferred genre, listening to classical music will have its benefits. It will assist in providing an atmosphere suitable for studying while expanding your musical pallet. It has been said that the sounds of classical music creates a stronger emotional sense psychologically that helps us concentrate better on the material that we are trying to learn. Classical music’s effects while studying can be comparable to listening to babbling brooks or other soothing sounds of nature at bedtime that has become so popular in recent years. A good rule of thumb would be adding a little Pachelbel to the playlist next to Future and mix some Handel with Drake. So the next time you have a study session, try the on/off and combine it with some classical selections.  The results will be amazing.